Louisville Too Good For Crippled Chicken Statue?

February 9, 2010

As a practicing omnivore, the rhetoric of PETA can be a little acerbic at times. I think a happy chicken is the tastiest kind of chicken despite how I’d be labeled as a murdering fascist. However, PETA’s proposal to erect a 5 1/2 foot-tall statue of a bloodied, crippled chicken in downtown Louisville makes more sense than it would at, ahem, first bite. From a press release:

Eight long months after first requesting a permit from the city of Louisville to display a statue of a giant chicken with a decidedly anti-KFC message, PETA still has no permit. The most recent permit denial brought raucous laughter and then frustration: PETA’s permit was denied because the city hadn’t approved it. That’s despite several reapplications in response to the city’s constantly changing requirements. Either incompetence or defiance has kept PETA’s giant anti-KFC chicken statue off the streets, for now. Undeterred, PETA continues to attempt to work through the inanity it has experienced. PETA is challenging Louisville on the grounds that the city is violating PETA’s First Amendment right to free speech.

First amendment violations aside, I’ve argued before that this statue could be a win-win for the city and for animal rights, but let me break it down a little further.

If we’re to regard the “Keep Louisville Weird” campaign as something other than just a nifty bumper sticker we stole from Austin, then what could make this city weirder than this goddamned thing? It would also behoove the fine folks at Greater Louisville, Inc., to think about branding the city beyond their “You’ll come for the Derby but you’ll stay for the high quality of life” meme, which is fine and all but reflects a kind of staid, middle-aged streak that isn’t conducive to the vibrancy required of currently unoccupied urban infill projects.

If Louisville desires to capture those creative class twitterers that are all the rage, then showcasing that we’re a community that can house both the epicenter of the Yum! food empire as well as ground-zero for dissent against Yum! itself would be boon to not only creating the image of an open-minded, diverse and quirky community, but allow the city to exploit the trust-funded discretionary income of visiting young activists. Again: Win-win.

When I called the mayor’s office last year to inquire about this, I was met with laughter (something that has probably been in short supply there). Not seeing the forest for the trees is one thing. But being unable to see the chicken for the wing? Weird, indeed.

Posted via web from Vince.DeGeorge

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